Spiritual Challenges of Emerging Adults

Spiritual Challenges of Emerging Adults

How to minister to the unique spiritual needs of 18- to 30-year-olds
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Especially in the late 20s and early 30s, emerging adults may feel like they're giving up their big plans for small ones. In God's economy, however, small acts of obedience and faithfulness may have far-reaching effects that elude detection! Encourage them with the impact a life of everyday faithfulness can have.

Map growth in the Christlife postures. Create a chart to assess growth areas being pursued. For example, you might map growth in trusting God's wisdom, submitting to the Father's heart and leadership, and loving as God does in the young adult's relationships with others. Is there evidence of progression, a reason to celebrate, or a sense that they're stalled? Looking for these kinds of patterns is not meant to over-categorize a complex relational dance or judge a person's maturity. It is merely the beginning point for further exploration. It may reveal areas to bring before the Lord and/or to discuss with the disciple. Mapping must be done with humility, grace and flexibility to provide insight in how to serve the other well.

Seek God through fasting. Fasting can be used to reflect with the Lord or to wait on him for redirection. Don't be afraid to be creative with it. Fast from food (to create space and a physical reminder to listen to God), from noise (constant use of media as background noise may hinder you from hearing the Lord clearly), from social networking or technology, from others' opinions (especially if you rely on others' feedback and need more time to listen for the Lord's insights), or from some other type of time waster or distraction (like video games or recreational shopping). The idea is to create space and energy for reflection.

—Richard R. Dunn and Jana L. Sundene; excerpted from Shaping the Journey of Emerging Adults by Richard Dunn and Jana Sundene. Copyright 2012 by Richard R. Dunn and Jana L. Sundene. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press.

For more on ministering to emerging adults, use our resource Meaningful Groups for Emerging Adults.

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